February 23, 2024

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Airbnb aims to go public after US election, plans to raise $3 billion

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Angela Lang/CNET

Airbnb is looking to raise roughly $3 billion for its debut on Wall Street, according to Reuters. The home rental company revealed in August that it was planning to go public, even during a time when the novel coronavirus had hurt its bottom line. After hitting a low last spring, Airbnb says it’s since seen an uptick in business.

People familiar with the matter told Reuters that Airbnb intends make its filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission public after the US election in November. The company is then likely to have its initial public offering in December. This timeline could change however, according to Reuters.

In August, Airbnb filed paperwork to go public in a what has been a long-anticipated IPO. As several other tech startups went public over the last couple of years, such as Uber, Lyft, Slack and Pinterest, Airbnb held back. At one point, the home rental company was privately valued at $31 billion.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Airbnb saw its business battered as cities shut down and travelers canceled trips. In May, the company said it was laying off 1,900 employees — a quarter of the company — one of the largest mass layoffs for a Silicon Valley company since the pandemic began. At the time, CEO Brian Chesky told employees that revenue this year would be less than half of what the company earned in 2019, which was reportedly $4.8 billion.

But the company’s business appears to be on the mend as people begin to travel again, seeking private countryside rentals where they can avoid big groups of people. In July, Airbnb said hosts in rural areas across the US earned over $200 million in June of this year, up more than 25% from the same period in 2019. 

With its IPO, Airbnb could be valued by as much as $30 billion, according to Reuters. That’s more than earlier estimates, which range from $18 billion to $21 billion.

Airbnb didn’t return request for comment.

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